Trade comment – Gary Desmond CEO of Gala Group

Trade comment – Gary Desmond CEO of Gala Group


2018 was a big year for the Gala Group as we celebrated 20 years of retailing excellence through a range of marketing activities, promotions and celebrations.

Kicking off the celebrations the group ran its biggest ever social media giveaway, giving away the prize of a brand-new car. Following on from this, Gala awarded three primary schools in Ireland with sums totalling €20,000 as part of the ‘Gala Gifts for Schools’ initiative.

The #GalaGifts theme continued with a huge in-store giveaway, giving customers the chance to win one of five European breaks.  This was followed by the Gala Group’s biggest ever in-store promotion in November, where customers could ‘scratch to win’ for instant prizes and the chance to win one of three Toyota Aygo cars. The promotion proved hugely successful, rewarding thousands of customers for their custom and loyalty to Gala stores.

The Group’s partnership with Special Olympics Ireland continued as the Ireland Games 2018 took place in Dublin in June and this year Gala will support the athletes of Team Ireland as they prepare for the World Summer Games 2019, which will take place in Abu Dhabi in March.

Meanwhile, Gala’s social media channels continue to go from strength to strength, with a combination of promotions, Gala news and giveaways for our consumer fans online.

At Gala we recognise the important role of innovation in retailing and with the rise of mobile usage by both shoppers and retailers, the Gala Group has been working to develop an app which will launch in the coming weeks. Targeted at retailers and shoppers, the Gala app will streamline communications to retailers and customers, enabling retailers to be fully up-to-date on Gala news at the touch of a button and bring shoppers the latest Gala promotions, giveaways and recipe inspiration.

In-store shopping experiences have played a central role in Gala’s development over the last few years with exclusive concepts such as Baker’s Corner and Coffee Junction being extremely well received by retailers and shoppers and 2018 saw us unveiling two new concepts which will be rolled out this year – New Street Deli, an innovative street food inspire deli offering and Galato, a fresh whipped ice cream and dessert station.

2019 is already set to be a busy year with a significant number of new store openings and store expansions scheduled for the first six months, along with our support of Team Ireland at the Special Olympics World Games and the return of the Gala Gifts for Schools competition.  In 2019, we will continue growing the Gala brand through innovation. We’re committed to delivering new ideas and shopper experiences to our retailers and we look forward to another successful year for Gala and its retailers.